I’m just a kid who gets to entertain people. I’m really not sure how much of an influence I have or should have on things, but thank you! I guess I would say again that I would encourage people to be good people. We can all have different views and beliefs, that is what keeps things interesting and our country so diverse. But no matter what, I think we all can be good people and nice about things. I have a song I recorded called “A Lot More Love.” It talks about how the world needs a little less hate and a lot more love. I mean that really says it all.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jet Jurgensmeyer. From comedy to drama, award-nominated young actor Jet Jurgensmeyer has brought dynamic characters to life in film and television, quickly solidifying him as “one to watch” in the entertainment industry. With multiple exciting projects slated for release this year, Jet is not slowing down anytime soon. Film and television credits include “Last Man Standing”, “American Sniper”, “The Little Rascals Save the Day”, “Adventures in Babysitting”, and “The Legend of 5 Mile Cave”. Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Jet has been entertaining audiences since he could walk. His parents owned a restaurant that hosted live music and dinner shows, and some of his first steps were across their stage with a microphone in hand. He and his family currently split their time between Tennessee, Missouri, and California. When not acting, he loves to hang out on his family’s farm, ride horses, go fishing and spend time outdoors. He is also active in sports, playing soccer, basketball, golf, and Kenpo Karate. He also spends a lot of time playing his guitar and writing and recording music. You can check out some of his most popular music on his YouTube channel, including his latest single, “This Is Your Moment”.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thanks so much for having me. Well, I am 14 years old from Nashville, TN. We also have homes in MO and CA. We spend time in all 3 places. When I was 5, we came to CA for my work and we travel back and forth quite a bit. I grew up spending most of my time in Nashville and was around music entertainers quite a bit. I think this played a big major role in sparking my interest in entertainment.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Well my parents have been in the entertainment industry for a long time. They owned a restaurant and had a dinner show. When I was 4 years old, I started performing in the show. A family friend suggested that my parents try acting with me since I seemed to like to be on stage and perform so much. My parents did and I started working immediately. My agent in Nashville then connected me with some people in LA who are now my agent and manager out here and I’ve been working in LA for the past 9 years.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Something that happened to me relatively lately occurred when we first started rehearsals for “Last Man Standing”. I was on set with Tim Allen and heard the way he said something and it just hit me that I’m working with Buzz Lightyear! Of all the things he has done, that is the thing that struck me. Pretty funny!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Most people don’t know that I had to wear a fat suit when I played Spanky in Little Rascals Save the Day. Since I was only 7, I didn’t think about going to the bathroom first. I learned real quick to not forget using the restroom before you go to set. You don’t know how long it will be before you get the chance and it makes it real hard to concentrate if you need to use the restroom.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I feel really fortunate because I get to do so many things in the industry. “Last Man Standing” on Fox has been picked up for another season. We will start filming that later this year. I love being part of that show so much. I have a new animated Disney Jr. show “T.O.T.S.” that will premiere in June. I play Pip The Penguin. It’s such a cute show that I am really proud of. I have a movie also premiering on the INSP Network in June called “The Legend of 5 Mile Cave”. It is a family western that the whole family can enjoy. Also, my music. I will playing several shows around the country this summer and my album will be coming out. All exciting things for sure.
From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?
I think people need to be hired and judged on their talents and being a good person rather than people judging someone or hiring someone because of race or gender. My parents have always told me, “Good people are good people.” I think that applies in all areas of life and business. We should all just want to surround ourselves with good people no matter who they are. I believe the industry is really trying to be more diverse, at least in the younger demographic. Most of the projects that I’ve auditioned for have been very diverse. Many of the children’s shows and networks are much more diverse than in the past.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. That I wouldn’t have time to be on a sports team. I really love sports. I go to a basketball camp in Nashville every year. Committing to a team just won’t work with my schedule that changes all the time.
2. Filming is always hurry up and wait. It never fails that you have an early call time and get into hair and makeup and then sit around the rest of the day until the very end. Then they say there’s only time to shoot one quick 10 minute scene.
3. No matter what, I’m still required to do school on set. Some people think that since you’re working, you would be able to get out of school. No, minors are required to do school on set when you aren’t working with a set teacher.
4. Auditions are at so many different places. It’s amazing how many places in LA there are that have auditions. My Parents and I spend so much time stuck in traffic getting to auditions. At least we have learned our way around LA.
5. How hard it is to say goodbye at the end of a project. At the end of filming “Adventures in Babysitting”, there were many tears shed. We had spent 9 weeks together every day and felt like we may never see each other again. Fortunately, we have all kept in touch and see each other quite a bit. We became such good friends, like family. That doesn’t happen very often.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I would say to always make sure you keep it fun. I know that sometimes a project can be long hours and be a lot of work, but it still should be fun. I just hope I can always remember how much I love what I get to do and that I can always keep having fun with it. If I look at it as a challenge, then it motivates me. I like a good challenge.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’m just a kid who gets to entertain people. I’m really not sure how much of an influence I have or should have on things, but thank you!
I guess I would say again that I would encourage people to be good people. We can all have different views and beliefs, that is what keeps things interesting and our country so diverse. But no matter what, I think we all can be good people and nice about things. I have a song I recorded called “A Lot More Love.” It talks about how the world needs a little less hate and a lot more love. I mean that really says it all.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Yes, totally, 100% my parents. They are the reason I get to do what I love. Everything they do they do for me. They tell me that they will support me no matter what I want to do in life and I really believe them. They say their job in life is to make me a good man and they really work at that every day. I appreciate them so much! I look at this like we are a team and my success is their success. I love them so much!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I always hear my Grandpa say, “What a guy outta do.” It’s his way of telling you to do something. It usually comes out instead of telling us that if you want something, you have to work at it. Set your goals high and go after them.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Ed Sheeran, I would love to pick his brain. He seems like such a smart performer and writer. He is so calm about what he does. I love his music and how he is the entire show. He doesn’t seem like fame has changed him at all and I really like that about him.